A recent study that is scheduled for publication is casting further doubt on the environmental benefits of some biofuels. The study, by Nobel prize-winner Paul Crutzen, concludes that N2O emissions from fertilizer use could be up to 2.5 times larger than the IPCCâ€™s estimates. Given N2Oâ€™s high climate-forcing potential, this means that fertilizer-intensive crops grown for use as biofuels might result in a net increase in greenhouse gas emissions.
This adds to the growing body of evidence that indicates that the use of synthetic fertilizers is not sustainable. The use of compost in agricultural applications provides a great alternative by substantially reducing the need for synthetic fertilizers (as well actually sequestering carbon in soils and biomass).